This isn’t really a problem that I’m having, it’s more of an observation and question.
Why isn’t there a switch in the UI to say if you’re using the crumb tray or not?
Flip switch indicating the crumb tray removed.
Popup box asks for material height input
Another popup gives you the correct height spacer you need, or maybe you don’t need to set the right focus height.
This would be a simple program change, and I say “simple” because I’m a programmer and not because I just think it would be something simple to do. I could make that change in any of the UI’s I’ve developed in my plant in less than an hour. Of course, there is probably a QA process to validate the change, so it would take a couple days, but this is super low hanging fruit that could make some peoples experience with the laser much better.
Wouldn’t need a switch. The unit could check if the crumbtray was there with the height scanner. Though that would add a few seconds to the process. The head might not need to move since it is already above the tray. Agreed that a S/W change would be fairly straight forward. But for what ever reason the simplest of changes occur at a glacial pace. I’m not looking over their shoulder so it would be foolish to speculate as to why. I quit expecting quick changes a year ago. I’m going to have fun using my laser that looks just like the one in the marketing.
Well, that +/- 1/2 inch is kind of etched in stone, so allowing the number to be bigger would not solve much.
As a workable feature, I imagine some creative programming could make it happen. Worth a feature request.
There are a few things still not completed that were already on the listing, so even if accepted it will be awhile.
That said, once people have worked without the crumb tray installed, it is pretty easy to figure out. It is not that difficult.
They already set height automatically for Proofgrade using sensor. Unfortunately we need to tell it where to look for material for an automatic material height check that would properly dewarp the image. So it’s chicken and egg. Can’t lay things out precisely without knowing material height and can’t take an automatic height check without first laying the material out.
My workaround was to make a riser (standard tab box) that is a known amount thinner than the crumb tray. This is not a new technique, it’s been covered in the forums before, but it can be hard to search for, so I’ll elaborate here.
My crumb tray surface is 01.389" tall, so I made a (birch plywood) box that is 0.889" tall. This is 0.5" below the normal surface height.
If I have an item that is 0.5-1" tall, I reach for that. The math is simple, the laser focus height is just
(object height) - 0.5.
The next step down would be a box that is 0.389" tall, which would cover you in cases where your item is 1-1.5" tall. I’m sure you get the idea.
If I ever get serious about lots of engraving of taller items, I’ll probably fill in the gaps in height and make a set of nearly full-bed-sized boxes that are each 0.25" increments off the crumb height.
All of the Glowforge experts on here do realize that this was supposed to be a laser printer that’s as easy to use as an inkjet printer right? Most, if not all, of the people that are here right now and have been here since day one are very versed in everything Glowforge. My OP was about the “every user”. I wasn’t asking for help on how to do this. I even stated in the OP that “This isn’t a problem that I’m having”. This was a solution for the beginning, or slightly lower than average maker. Someone who goes to a maker space for the first time and is good enough to follow directions, but isn’t a Glowforge expert.
I didn’t see a suggestion box, so I just threw this out here.
None of this is meant to disparage your idea, it’s a nice one. However, given that it’s just an idea, and that other people might want to proceed with making their crumbtray adventures a little easier in the meantime until your idea becomes reality…
And the GF is as easy to use as some inkjets, if you stay inside the lines. Go ahead, cut yourself some proofgrade, should be a snap. You’re going BTM, so expect BTM solutions.
Anyway, perhaps next time I won’t be so quick to offer my pointers. Posts with a tone like this have a bit of a cooling effect on my enthusiasm.
I know that Glowforge welcomes all suggestions and feedback. I also know that when a suggestion is made, they take note of the suggestion itself and the ensuing discussion about said suggestion. The discussion around a suggestion can be just as valuable as the suggestion itself, to get a general idea of how people feel about it.
Personally, I like the idea, but I wouldn’t place it high on my personal needs list.